Christ Wesleyan Church presents ‘Titanic the Musical’

MILTON — Christ Wesleyan Church invites everyone to come aboard the “Titanic” — or more simply stated, “Don’t miss the boat!

Based upon the incredible true story, “Titanic the Musical” sets sail next weekend with 7 p.m. performances on June 15, 16, 17, with 2 p.m. matinees on June 17 and 18.

With music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, and book by Peter Stone, audiences will find this Christ Wesleyan Church production docked at The Auditorium (Entrance 6), 363 Stamm Road.

Both Yeston and Stone knew that writing a musical depicting the loss of over 1,500 passengers and staff was a formidable task. The sinking of the “unsinkable” R.M.S. Titanic, on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic on April 15, 1912, was a topic familiar to everyone, making it even more difficult to dramatize and set to music.

What drew Yeston to set this famous disaster to music was primarily the hopes of its passengers: third class, the dreams of immigrants heading to America in search of a better life; second class, to lead a leisured lifestyle in imitation of the elite first class; and first class, to maintain their privileged positions forever.

Although I saw this Tony-Award winning “Best Musical” on Broadway during previews when there was major problems with the massive hydraulics, “Titanic” became an audience favorite, despite receiving decidedly mixed reviews.

Once rights were released years later, Susquehanna University tackled “Titanic” quite successfully, and just last year, Penn State Centre Stage, mixing graduate students and Actors’ Equity performers, presented a vocally outstanding production.

This Christ Wesleyan Church production, which has been in rehearsals since open auditions in February, features a 65-member cast, which consists of church members and community actors.

Heading the full production team is Pastor Ryan Brosious, who directs and musically coordinates this ambitious undertaking. Carole Brosious serves as assistant director, with John Lengyel conducting the orchestra.

The stage version of “Titanic” (which is not based upon the movie) clearly resonates with its “epic score,” and tales of the colorful characters aboard the White Star Line’s “Ship of Dreams.”

The reactions among the British, Irish, Scottish and American passengers and staff add a dramatic, heartrending touch once the “Titanic” strikes the massive iceberg.

Like all Christ Wesleyan Church productions, “Titanic the Musical” is family friendly, with a running time of 2 and a half hours, including a 30-minute intermission.

All seats are reserved. For reservations, visit www.cwc.life. On weekdays, tickets are also available (cash or check) at the Well Read Bookstore on the Christ Wesleyan Church campus.

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